CEO of US-based firm thrashed, industry warns of backlash (Lead)

September 27th, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Noida/New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) The India head of a US-based software firm was dragged out of his car and viciously beaten up in Noida, four days after workers lynched another top executive in the area, forcing Indian Inc to warn Saturday of a backlash if authorities did not provide security in the industrial region of Uttar Pradesh bordering Delhi.Kashir Dwivedi, 37, chief executive officer (CEO) of Expedience e-solutions India Ltd, was waylaid Friday night on a road while he drove his car to a Sai Baba temple. The company he heads has its global headquarters at Houston, Texas.

Speaking to IANS, a rattled Dwivedi said: “I left my office in Noida Sector 63 around 9.30 p.m. Four men in a Tavera overtook my (Honda Civic) car and stopped it ahead of me in such a way that my car got trapped.

“They tried to open my car doors. Since they had got automatically locked, they brought out an iron rod from their car, smashed open the window and dragged me out on the road.

“They tried to pick me up like a sack of potatoes and push me inside their car. I resisted and kept rolling on the road to avoid them, shouting for help.

“By this time, a crowd had assembled. So the men fled. Before that, one of them hit me on the head with the iron rod. I lost consciousness for a while.”

When he regained consciousness, Dwivedi called his wife on the mobile telephone, who rushed him to the nearby Kailash Hospital. He was under observation in the hospital through the night and discharged Saturday.

A resident of Sector 61 in Noida where his office is located, Dwivedi said he was scared to return to work although there has never been any labour trouble there. “This city seems unsafe,” said his wife Madhu.

Police said they were doing their best to track down the four attackers.

The brazen attack came four days after Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47 and CEO and India head of Graziano Transmissioni India, was lynched by workers sacked earlier.

Choudhary was beaten to death and some of his colleagues were seriously injured in that attack while the police, according to company executives, did not turn up despite repeated phone calls.

Stunned by the second murderous attack in just four days, India Inc reacted with horror Saturday. Industry leaders said investment would be pulled out of Noida, a sprawling region bordering Delhi, if the Uttar Pradesh administration failed to improve the law and order situation.

“This is most unfortunate. It shows that the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh has completely collapsed,” said Sajjan Jindal, president of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

“Recurrence of such attacks will completely ruin the reputation of Uttar Pradesh. Whatever investment is lined up for the state will be withdrawn,” he said.

“If the confidence of the investors has to be restored, the state should ensure law and order so that industrial units may work without any fear,” added Aditya Ghildyal, president of the Association of Greater Noida Industries Association.

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